Are Your Landing Pages All They Can Be?

Landing Page Optimization is the process of enhancing or improving each element on your landing page to increase conversions. (Neil Patel, writing for Crazy Egg) Consistent tone, design, and messaging are essential. Unfortunately, small tweaks are often not enough to improve the performance of a landing page. Many times, a better, overall design is called for.

Design changes are best made when they are based on real user data. Design landing pages around what you already know about your target audience then continue to collect information that will inform future changes to your design. Use heat maps or other visual data reports to help you understand visitor behavior on your landing pages. Heat maps show concentrations of user activity so you can examine whether or not visitors are going where you want them to go.

Before we get into best practices for landing pages, let’s discuss a few different types or purposes of the pages:

Lead capture page – specific purpose of obtaining contact information; provides a form that asks for email, phone, etc. but without being too pushy about it.

Click through page – does not contain a form; purpose is to warm up visitors to your products or services and lead them further into the website.

Lead-gen page – the visitor has to provide information on a form in order to move forward. Many mortgage lending sites use this tactic before they provide the information being sought by the consumer.

In general, the purpose of a landing page is to capture information through an intuitive and interactive conversion form of some sort. An offer is often made to the consumer to receive information, coupons, a download, etc. in return for his or her information. Something to keep in mind is that short forms may generate a larger quantity of leads but longer forms often provide greater quality leads.

It is a good idea to create multiple landing pages that cater to different segments of your target audience. This way you can keep it to one topic per page. Landing pages can be focused on a specific audience based on their location, experience, or source. It is important for each landing page to be similar to the ad or other source from which the visitor reached your site. When consumers feel as though they have been redirected to the wrong place you are likely to see a decrease in conversions and an increase in bounce rates.

Your various source channels should send readers to a relevant landing page. Align your landing pages with distinct sources and similarly distinct offers. The landing page for organic traffic versus traffic from paid channels should offer a different experience to those visitors. Knowing how people get to your website allows you to approach audiences in the most effective manner possible.

You can also establish landing pages that align with various points in the buyer’s funnel depending on what your call to action is. Are you asking new visitors to sign up for a newsletter or encouraging established customers to purchase a product or service? The offerings and guidance you present to each group should differ depending on where they are in the journey. If landing pages are not performing well, perhaps the action you are wanting the consumer to take is being offered too soon or too late in the funnel.

Landing pages are not intended to provide visitors with a full website experience. They should be clean and simple and without visual clutter. You will realize greater success when you stop competing against yourself by reducing the number of choices on your landing pages. Remove the sidebar and navigation bar so the consumer’s focus is fully on the call to action displayed on that page. Steer your visitors exactly where you want them to go.  If there is only one thing to do, one button to push, people will more readily take the action you desire them to take. Lead your reader directly towards the conversion goal.

It is a good idea to offer social media buttons and contact information on all landing pages so you don’t lose a customer who isn’t quite ready to buy. Consumers are more willing to stick around when they know they have somewhere to go in order to have their remaining questions answered.

As easy as you might make it for a visitor to take a desired action, he or she must still be motivated to do so. Leverage the strength of consumers’ emotional responses. Create a sense of urgency, scarcity, or need fulfillment to motivate them to act. Never underestimate the driving force of the fear of missing out (FOMO). Point out the opportunity that will be lost by not moving forward but be sure to create landing pages that encourage viewers to experience positive emotions. Describe the emotions a consumer might feel as you illustrate the solution your product or service will bring to the problem the reader is wanting to address.

Your value proposition should be succinct, clear, and unique. Be proactive and speak to common objections through encouraging copy and expert advice. The value proposition can appear in multiple places, from your headline to your calls to action. Simply offer something of value in return for consumer information or action.

Make your headlines powerful. Use compelling, persuasive language. Put yourself in the shoes of your target audience and determine what struggle they are facing that your product or service will help them overcome. Empathize with your visitors and offer them a viable solution to their challenge. Ensure that your headlines clearly include the benefit provided to the consumer.

Images on landing pages shouldn’t require text. Show a product or service in a way that visually communicates the value proposition. It goes without saying, there is no excuse for incorrect spelling or grammar usage on your landing pages. Or anywhere else on your site, for that matter.

Call to action buttons should be oversized and either above the fold or offered several times on longer pages. Each landing page should contain one specific call to action and the language used should be concise. Your calls to action should communicate a clear value proposition, a specific reason why a visitor should act. Some experts recommend that you present a second, less committed call to action further down the page. Perhaps a consumer who wasn’t motivated enough to click the “Buy Now” button might click on a “Learn More” option. Calls to action can also address common objections in sub-text such as, “Takes 30 seconds or less,” or, “No credit card needed.”

A tactic that will prompt strong conversation on both sides of the matter is whether or not to use an exit pop-up. This strategy provides one last opportunity to make a conversion before a visitor leaves the page. Many times, the message contains a special discount or offer or compelling copy that encourages the visitor to reconsider leaving the site. Just do your best to avoid the perception that you are begging someone not to go and know that some consumers consider this strategy offensive.

While there should be a correlation between increased site traffic and conversion rates, the true measure of landing page success is improvement. Conversion rates mean more to you when you compare yourself to yourself versus to another brand. Different strategies will yield different results for each business. Don’t become discouraged because something doesn’t work the way you anticipated. Pull more data, come up with another strategy, and try again.

All you need for an optimized landing page: a clean design, strong headline, compelling and concise copy that communicates the benefits to consumers, an unmissable call to action, and amazing overall user experience. Thinking you need help? Contact the professionals at Strategy Driven Marketing for their expert advice on landing pages or any of your other advertising and marketing needs.